Dispute: Unite Here Local 40 vs Hospitality Industrial Relations BC (32 locations)

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Dear friends:

Strike coordination update for the Dispute: Unite Here Local 40 vs Hospitality Industrial Relations BC (32 locations)

Background on the dispute:

Unite Here Local 40 has been struggling with various employers in the hotel industry. Since the start of the pandemic, they have been trying to secure recall rights for their members to ensure they can come back to their jobs once the pandemic is over.

Four hotels have made agreements to extend recall rights. These hotels include the Hyatt, Westin, Pinnacle and Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver. They agreed to these extensions without concessions.

However, the majority of hotels are using the pandemic to wage an attack on unionized workers. Despite solutions proposed by the union, these hotels are tabling concessions, firing workers, and trying to push the union out.

There is an ongoing dispute at the Hilton Metrotown Hotel where 97 workers have been fired. Workers at the Hilton implemented a one-day strike just over two weeks ago. That strike was quickly turned into a lockout which has now reached day 14. There has been significant union support for workers at this location. A number of BCFED affiliates have pulled their business from the Metrotown Hilton. The Burnaby municipal government has urged the Hilton to negotiate.

There is a looming dispute at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond. They have fired over 50 out of 170 workers. They have no intention to recall these workers. The federal government is using part of the hotel for the quarantine program, which allowed the employer to contract out work. They brought in minimum wage contractors through the Red Cross. The federal government hasn’t been accountable to this.  This contrasts with the Sheraton Richmond, where they are also doing quarantine. At the Sheraton, Unite Here’s members are doing the work and it shows this is possible.

On Wednesday, April 27, Unite Here received notice of a potential lockout at 32 provincial hotels and motels. These are properties in small and large communities across the province. A full list is below.

There is a sense that these employers may be using the travel restrictions in May and the reduction in business to try and force their terms on workers. There are significant concessions on the table at all of these locations.

Impact on other unions:

Harrison Hot Springs Hotel is one of the hotels where workers are facing lockout. At this hotel IUOE operates the water systems on site. There is also a major upcoming film production and rooms have been booked out for workers. This could impact IATSE, ACTRA, SAG and other unions with workers on the film shoot. Teamsters also operate the associated golf course. Many unions have a long-standing relationship with the hotel.

IUOE 882 reported that they have maintenance trades and engineers at the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel. They suspect that the employer may apply for essential services for the boiler and some other systems. IUOE also reported issues at the hotel and that they are not treating workers with respect.

Unite Here is connecting with the BCFMWU about the Best Western hotel in Port Alberni and whether it is being used to house their members working in the area. 

Some unions may use the hotels in smaller communities for the business reps and other union staff who are travelling to the region.

Possible Effective date of lockout: 4pm Friday, April 30th

Potential picket locations:

For updates on impacted hotels please visit https://www.bcunequalwomen.org/bc-travel-alert/

Travelodge Bakerview Motor Inn Abbottsford
Bubblee’s Liquor Store Castlegar
Super 8 Motel Castlegar
Woody’s Beer & Wine Store Coquitlam
Woody’s on Brunette Pub Coquitlam
North Bar & Grill Fort St. John
Northern Grand Hotel Fort St. John
Harrison Hot Springs Resort Harrison
Delta Hotels by Marriott Kamloops Kamloops
Heritage Plaza Hotel Ltd. Kamloops
Alexander Mackenzie Hotel Mackenzie
Timbermann Inn Mackenzie
Inn at Westminster Quay New Westminster
Queens Liquor Store New Westminster
Holiday Inn North Vancouver North Vancouver
Best Western Barclay Hotel Port Alberni
Belmont Liquor Store Prince Rupert
Highliner Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre Prince Rupert
Prestige Prince Rupert Hotel Prince Rupert
Steveston Hotel Richmond
Chateau Granville Vancouver
Blue Horizon Hotel Vancouver
Chateau Victoria Vancouver
Days Inn Downtown Vancouver
Grand Union Hotel Vancouver
Holiday Inn Downtown Vancouver
Holiday Inn Vancouver Broadway Vancouver
Spirit of Howe Liquor Store Vancouver
St. Regis Hotel Vancouver
The Burrard Vancouver
Wedgewood Hotel & Spa Vancouver
Quality Inn Downtown Victoria

 

Support requested:

Unite Here is also asking affiliates to pull their business from the properties until the dispute is resolved.

Please relay a clear message of support for Unite Here Local 40 members and recall rights for hotel workers when bookings are being cancelled.

If unions have members in these communities, especially in smaller communities, it would be very helpful to have them visit picket lines and show support. Travel restrictions will make it difficult to bolster the lines with people from other areas.

Unite Here will also be reaching out to municipal governments in smaller communities. There may be an opportunity to work with labour councils and endorsed candidates.

Unite Here also asks for support and amplification of their campaigns through social media channels.

In solidarity,

DENISE MOFFATT
Director

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